While there is much debate concerning how "big of a tent" the Republican Party should be concerning social issues, there is no excuse for any Republican to damage our national security and support unilateral disarmament. The START treaty is a unilateral demand proposed by Vladimir Putin and its sole intent is to weaken our missile capabilities and our deterrent against Russia.
When the treaty was first taken up in the Senate, I figured that it lacked 51 votes, much less the 67 super majority that is required for its ratification. After all, who except for the fringe left would support a treaty that is being forced upon us by our sworn enemies that are known to violate every treaty on record. As it turns out, there are no clear opponents of the treaty in the Democrat Party, while there are a number of Republicans who are considering supporting it. Senators Isackson, Lugar, and Corker already voted for the treaty in committee. This doesn't even include the list of usual RINOs. Now, Minority Whip John Kyl sounds like he thinks there is something to consider with START. All the headlines today are focused on the fact that Kyl opposes the consideration of the treaty in the lame duck session. Here is what Kyl had to say:
“When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to START and modernization,” Kyl said in a statement.
“I appreciate the recent effort by the administration to address some of the issues that we have raised and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Kerry, DOD, and DOE officials.”
Why is this not dead on arrival? How could anyone who calls themselves a conservative give any thought to supporting unilateral disarmament, while delivering a political and strategic victory to one of our most dangerous conventional enemies? Are we still in the pre-Reagan era of detente?
The problem is that most people think that Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are our only menaces in the Senate (especially with Voinovich retiring). In reality, we only have a handful of conservatives in the Senate. No matter how solid the House Republicans are, there is no way that we can accomplish anything and change our brand if there is status quo with the Senate. There are simply too many RINOs in the Senate.
The amazing thing is that all of these guys are from red states! We should have two Jim DeMint's from states like Indiana, Arizona, Tennessee, and Georgia. Instead we are stuck with guys who don't believe in American exceptionalism. Kyl and Lugar are up this cycle, while Corker is up in 2014. We need to get to work now. Everyone is focused on the fact that we have an excellent chance of winning the Senate in 2012. But what good is it if we are going to do the Democrats' bidding and get blamed for it?